top of page

LNG trade is growing. In debt-ridden Ghana, it comes with risks

A man bikes past a vendor selling football shirts in downtown Accra. (IMF Photo/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds)

By Chloé Farand for Climate Home News, the Guardian and Floodlight

John Gakpo has milled corn to make kenkey – a cornmeal dumpling and Ghana’s staple food – in a dimly lit wooden shack in a suburb of the capital, Accra, for 15 years.

In the past, his earnings have been sufficient to provide for his family – but not any more.

Once the poster-child economy for west Africa, Ghana is suffering from its worst economic crisis in a generation. The debt-laden nation is gripped by soaring inflation and a depreciating currency that has pushed it to default on some of its debt payments.

“Times are hard,” said Gakpo. His electricity bill has doubled in a year. To cope, he has had to cut back on buying food for his family.

Yet opposition politicians, energy analysts and local NGOs have warned that plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fossil fuel, under a 17-year agreement with oil giant Shell could make things worse.

The agreement, they say, could push up electricity prices, hamstring the transition to renewable energy and perpetuate a cycle of fossil-fuel related debt.

bottom of page